Our team is integral in helping us achieve the impossible in precision machining every day. However, their names and faces are largely behind-the-scenes – until now. In this ongoing series, we’ll introduce you to some of our critical team members who give their all to innovate and produce groundbreaking solutions that matter.
Today’s post features Sean Kennedy, a manufacturing engineer and turning department supervisor with ten years of manufacturing experience. We asked Sean to ask a few questions about himself and his work. Catch all the details of our interview below.
How would you describe yourself?
SK: Persistent – No matter how tough a job can be, we will always get through it. Some jobs go exactly as planned, but some do not. The jobs that do not go smoothly make this job interesting. There can be a lot of trial and error to get a finished product, but every failed attempt gives me more gratification when the process comes together.
Motivated – Every day, there are new challenges to overcome and things to improve. There are always processes that need improving to produce a better part, be more efficient to save time, or make a better work environment.
Why did you choose a career in precision machining?
SK: I chose a career in machining because I enjoy working with my hands and solving machinal challenges. My dad was a tool and die maker when he was a young man before changing careers. He bought manual machines for his shop at home, so I grew up running manual mills and lathes to make parts for whatever projects I was working on, whether parts for FIRST robotics in high school or our racecars. I knew I would want to learn how to program and run CNC machines eventually.
What is your most memorable project at KMM?
SK: One of my most memorable projects was a long-running part made from stainless steel in the Swiss department for the medical industry. The material was not tough, and the part geometry was simple for the most part, but there were some tighter tolerances. The part was previously manufactured at lower quantities, but new orders came in the tens of thousands, which resulted in inconsistencies and burring. So we optimized toolpaths to save time while adding other tools to ensure the parts would come off the machine burr-free. In the end, we cut the cycle time down by over 40% and produced a better-quality part in much higher quantities.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
SK: The most rewarding part of my role is when we finally figured out a difficult part we struggled to set up and get it running well. Some jobs can be very tough, and the first, second, or third plan doesn’t always work as expected. But ultimately, the goal is to create a part that meets the customer’s needs at or below the routed times.
What is your advice for someone interested in pursuing a career in precision machining?
SK: My advice would be to ask questions and don’t be afraid to try new things (i.e., methods, tooling, toolpaths, etc.). Almost everyone in this trade has a different background, whether different machines they have run, materials they have cut, or places they have worked. Most people, especially at KMM, are willing to help or teach to help the company – and you – succeed.
Check out our employment page to learn more about our team or discover what it’s like to work here. We’re dedicated to empowering world-class manufacturing professionals with the resources you need to excel in your career. Could you be the next KMM Group team member? Contact us to find out.